Let’s Accessorize and Electrify!

I love dressing up and wearing fun accessories! STEM U showed me the best way to use circuits to light up any fabric accessory! Here is a sneak peek of what we did! If you want to try this make sure you draw out your circuit before sewing it with conductive thread!

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Squishy Circuit Love

This is such a fun activity to show how to create a circuit using something other than metal as a conductor!  For this activity I used a kit from the Squishy Circuits Store!

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Items included in this kit: Battery Pack (needs 4 AA batteries), Various LED Lights, a Piezeolectric Buzzer, a Mechanical Buzzer, and the recipes for a Conductive and Insulating Dough.  For this project my Conductive Dough is red and Insulating Dough is a cream/tannish color.

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Now it’s time to create our circuit!

Step 1: I’m going to take my Conductive Dough (red) and roll it into two parts. This will be acting like my wire.

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Step 2: Now I’m going to take my Insulating Dough (tan) and roll it into a cylinder approximately 2 cm thick.  This will be placed between my red dough.

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Step 3: At this time I’m going to place my batteries into the battery pack and connect one wire to each side.  A friendly reminder: Red Wire is positive and Black Wire is negative.  Take care not to touch the wires after you have turned on the battery pack.

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Step 4: You are ready to connect your LED. Place one leg into each side of the red dough. Positive to Positive, Negative to Negative.

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Now you can have fun and try different circuits, make sculptures, be creative!

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Paper Circuit Crafting!

Today I got to try something super fun and easy! I can not wait to do this with family and students! I made a paper circuit and used it to light up and add some sparkle to a name tag!

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To get started you will first want to gather some supplies. For this project I used: led lights, a card stock paper of your choice, pencils/marker, 1 binder clip, 1 battery, copper tape, and needle nose pliers.

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Step 1: You are going to fold your paper in half (hotdog style), from there you are going to fold in one corner to cover your battery. On the back side of your folded half write your name.

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Step 2: Place your magnet inside the flap and trace it so that you know where it will be for the following steps. Repeat and trace on the other side of the flap as well. Then label each circle negative or positive.

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Step 3:  From here we are going to draw our circuit. Using your pencil we will draw lines coming from our circles, they should be perpendicular to begin with.  Select where you will want your light to be and draw your lines to this point. DO NOT cross your lines or allow the two lines to touch.  These lines are where you will be placing the copper tape.

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Step 4: Now you will place the copper tape starting at the middle of each circle and following your pattern at this time you will also punch a hole for your light.

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Step 5: Now we are going to look at our light.  The longer side is positive and the shorter end is negative. To remember this when working I am going to bend my positive side into a zig-zag pattern and the negative side into a circular shape. I want it to be able to lay flat.

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Step 6: We are now going to stick our light through the hole we made earlier. We want the positive end to connect to our positive side and the negative end to connect to the negative side. We are now going to tape over the ends using the copper tape.  Once again make sure you do not connect the 2 sides or your light will not turn on!!!

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Step 7: Now you are going to place your battery into the fold, charges facing the right way, and using the binder clip secure it into place.

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Step 8: If your light is not on, make sure your light is securely taped in place and your battery is facing the right direction.  Now you can enjoy your light up name tag!

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Now if you are feeling adventurous you can make series and parallel circuits.  Find out what color lights work best in your circuit and if you need more than one battery! Play around and come up with fun designs! The sky is the limit and STEM is fabulous!!!!!!

Below are some not so cute and not so crafty examples!

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